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Monday, October 13, 2008

Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days

Current mood: gloomy

VIEW FULL BLOG AT:
http://myphony.blogspot.com/



Folk rock based singer/songwriter Samuel Beam has released another musical gem. Following his low-fidelity 2002 debut, Our Endless Numbered Days is what broke Iron and Wine out of their underground indie fan base. With drastically improved audio quality, Sam Beam is able to clearly and successfully portray the beauty of his harmonic abilities. Think Simon and Garfunkle and the Decemberists’ acoustical child. The recording is dominated by his soft, whisper-like singing tone. Every subtlety of his singing can be clearly heard, as it is brought into the forefront: the pucker of his lips opening and closing, a swallow, a deep breath, etc. Every bit of it adds together to create a handsome concoction of rolling folk. Beam’s sister, Sara, accompanies him on some tracks, adding gorgeous harmonies to support his brother’s incredibly powerful, yet subtle voice. The lyrics are incredibly poetic, containing beautiful similes and metaphors such as “Papa died while my / Girl Lady Edith was born / Both heads fell / Like a crack in the door”.

But equally as important is what is occurring in the backdrop. Beam’s guitar lines and chord structures perfectly convey what Beam is singing about. For instance, in Sunset Soon Forgotten, the guitar line really portrays a sense of reflection. The line is uncommonly timed, and is not fully resolved until the end. “Down and down / once again” is stressed by a slide which slowly drops off.

Altogether, Iron & Wine’s Our Endless Numbered Days is an utterly calm, reflective album. It is very quiet and subtle, but almost very busy at the same time. The poetic, literary lyrics are incredibly dense, while the guitar generally artfully accompanies the gorgeous voicings. Overall, the album could not get any more elegantly articulate.

Tour dates:
  • November 13, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario | Phoenix Concert Theatre
  • November 14, 2008
    Buffalo, NY | Asbury Hall (inside Babeville)
  • November 15, 2008
    Northampton, MA | Pearl Street
  • November 16, 2008
    Providence, RI | Lupo's
  • November 17, 2008
    New York City, NY | Terminal Five
  • November 18, 2008
    Baltimore, MD | Ram's Head Live
  • November 19, 2008
    Norfolk, VA | The Norva
  • November 20, 2008
    Asheville, NC | Orange Peel
  • November 21, 2008
    Knoxville, TN | Bijou Theater
  • November 22, 2008
    Birmingham, AL | Work Play
  • November 23, 2008
    Nashville, TN | Ryman Auditorium
12:36 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Sunday, April 20, 2008

Earth - The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull

Current mood: lazy

VIEW FULL BLOG AT:
http://myphony.blogspot.com/



Godfather of Drone, Dylan Carson, has composed yet another stunningly beautiful arrangement. The title of the record describes the album better than any other words possibly can. Carson's guitar emits light rays which slowly seep down the side of the rhythmic backbone set by the pulsating drumming. The guitar travels as slowly, like dripping honey, all through the album, weaving together the piano and drums. As a finishing textual touch, Grammy award-winning jazz guitarist Bill Frisell paints in small details above all the other harmonic layering. At first listen, the melodies stick like honey to the listener's skull. They are toyed with, altered, and modified until finally repeated and resolved towards the end of each track. Due to Earth's minimalistic approach. any subtle difference in the repeating melody is immediately noticed by the listener. This approach is how Earth seems to paint those memorable landscapes they are famous for displaying in their music. Some say it sounds like a deserted ghost town, and others say it is the sound of relaxation. Personally, the album conveys the beauty of a sunrise.

I suggest buying the physical album. I downloaded a copy off iTunes originally, and was appalled by the low-complexity, 128 kbps version. I went out and bought a copy at a local FYE. The packaging was gorgeous. It came in an outer shell, encased by a smooth, shiny black casing. The leaflet was made out of the same, smooth material and contained great photos of the band. I imported my CD into iTunes at 320 kbps, and can finally listen to an untouched, gorgeous copy.

Check out Earth on tour now, and you could catch them with Kayo Dot, Zaïmph (Marcia Bassett of Double Leopards), or Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter.
04/25/2008 Bottom Lounge - Chicago, IL
04/26/2008 Wexner Center for the Arts - Columbus, OH w/Sword Heaven
04/27/2008 The Dame - Lexington, KY
04/28/2008 Springwater - Nashville, TN
04/29/2008 Bottletree - Birmingham, AL w/Fur Elise, Liz Durrett
04/30/2008 The Earl - Atlanta, GA w/Fur Elise, Liz Durrett
05/01/2008 Calendonia - Athens, GA w/Fur Elise, Liz Durrett
05/02/2008 Rocket Club - Asheville, NC
05/03/2008 Downtown Events Center - Raleigh, NC
05/04/2008 Rock and Roll Hotel - Washington, DC w/Kayo Dot
05/05/2008 Johnny Brenda¹s - Philadelphia, PA w/Kayo Dot
05/06/2008 Knitting Factory - New York, NY w/Kayo Dot
2:29 pm - 1 comments - 1 Kudos
Monday, August 13, 2007

Gigging at restaurants...

I think out of all possible places to gig, restaurants have GOT to be my favorite. After a night of show playing, I've come to change my mind about the whole "Large venues are better."  I mean, who could pass up a little bit of free food??  You come in, play a little bit of music, eat a complimentery dinner, take breaks, get paid a great deal of cash, and leave both your wallet and belly full.  If you're feeling extra over the top, you might as well order a coffee and dessert, too! Its always fun to screw with the waiters.

Anyone else with me on this? Or am I just going crazy?
I mean, where do you like to play and why??
5:23 pm - 9 comments - 1 Kudos
Friday, August 10, 2007

Profiles, FINALLY.

Current mood: busy

Profiles is almost out, and i want to give a BIGGG hand for everyone on the UG staff. Great job guys! Can't wait till its released to the masses.

This whole thing is going to keep me busy for the next two days, between recording skills, adding info, and keeping up with everything on UG. This will DEFINATELY increase that community feel that UG is famous for. Just wait. In 5 years, UG profiles will be the new facebook.

Although, the one thing i have still yet to see is a tab recommendation. Where you can recommend tabs to friends. I'd love to have an inbox full of requests just waiting to learn and pick at.

GREAT job guys. major props.
10:02 am - 1 comments - 6 Kudos